Lakers get mauled by Grizzlies; Rajon Rondo returns for Celtics

By: 01.03.11  •  44 Comments
Rudy Gay, Dime #57

Rudy Gay, Dime #57

The last time the Grizzlies played the Lakers at the Staples Center, Rudy Gay quietly tortured Ron Artest while the rest of his team was dominated in every phase of the game. Last night, Rudy dropped buckets on Ron-Ron again, but his teammates backed him up while handing L.A. an embarrassing 19-point blowout loss where the home team got booed … After missing his last game with a stomach flu, Gay (27 pts, 3 stls) was making the Lakers sick on Sunday. He gave ’em the full repertoire of inside, mid-range and outside shots, then punctuated it in the fourth quarter with transition dunks that hurt the rim. Artest had his hands so full defensively that he only managed to take two shots and was non-existent in L.A.’s offense … The box score says Kobe Bryant (28 pts) shot the ball 22 times and no one else on the Lakers had more than 9 attempts. But that didn’t speak as loudly as Phil Jackson, whose post-game press conference was full of subtle and blatant criticisms of his superstar: (1) “Trying to do too much with the basketball is basically what we’re trying to do. Teams are double-teaming, coming to help, we have to move the ball.” (2) “The game got to a point where we didn’t use our strength, which is our inside players.” (3) “Tonight Kobe screwed up the game by giving his energy to going one-on-one.” Do with it what you will … Rajon Rondo returned to the Celtics lineup against Toronto. Five minutes in, he pulled off his signature behind-the-back fake to freeze Jose Calderon and drop in a layup, and all day Rondo (4 pts, 8 asts) showed the difference between simply passing the ball and actually making plays happen … It also didn’t hurt Boston that Paul Pierce was making everything he threw up. Pierce (30 pts) knocked down three treys and some circus shots, and delivered a double facial on Amir Johnson and Joey Dorsey. Pierce’s only misstep came in the closing moments of the fourth quarter, when he went up for a dagger breakaway dunk and came down limping on his ankle …

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